About this Show

Melissa Harris- Perry

News/Business. Melissa Harris-Perry. (2013) New.

NETWORK

DURATION
02:01:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel v787

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 14, America 9, Henrietta 8, Freddie 7, New York 6, Spiriva 6, U.s. 5, Texas 5, Paula Deen 4, Hp Moonshot 4, Filner 3, Copd 3, Georgia 3, Richmond 3, Baltimore 3, Ohio 3, Detroit 3, Nerdland 2, Coca-cola 2, Tanner 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  MSNBC    Melissa Harris- Perry    News/Business. Melissa  
   Harris-Perry.  (2013) New.  

    August 11, 2013
    7:00 - 9:01am PDT  

7:00am
and because usaa's commitment to serve military members, veterans, and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve. my question, will you have to work for a living for the rest of your life? plus, family and friendships across the racial divide. and why owning your own home may no longer be the american dream. first, getting women in the government, and getting the government out of women. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. come with me for a moment back to 1951 to an exam room at baltimore johns hopkins hospital where a 31-year-old mother of
7:01am
five names henrietta lacks received a devastating diagnosis. cervical cancer, an especially aggressive form of the disease that despite radiation and surgery would have taken her life for months. that would have been where the story ended. somewhere in the hospital henrietta lacks lived on, at least some of her did. before henrietta's death her doctors to a sample of her tissue to study inside a test tube. when they looked closely, they discovered something unusual for cells. hers not only survived but thrived and multiplied in the live. in fact, henrietta's cells were so resilient they were replicated again and again and again in laboratories all over the world and went on to become the most widely used cell for for human cellular and molecular biology. those cells known as hela are the basis of breakthroughs.
7:02am
jonas salk used them to develop the first vaccine for polio. medical advances in vitrovertization, cell biology, cancer research and all things to hela cells. since hela were not the first cells to be widely replicated but also sold for profit, they are also the basis for a multi-billion dollar industry based on commercialized cells and tissues all from one woman who died but more importantly lived six decades ago. while she was alive henrietta lacks never knew about that small slice of her taken out of her body. she never knew because her doctor took her cells without her knowledge or consent. no one ever informed or asked permission from henrietta's family to use the parts of her that lived on after she was gone. this story received widespread attention after it was chronicled by a writer in "the immortal life of henrietta
7:03am
lacks." this week they announced a settlement with the descendants on how the hela geno would be used. information contained within henrietta's dna must seek permission from a group that includes permission from her family. it is a long overdue response. the outstanding ethical questions about lacks's inability to give informed consent. it also raises another issue raised by the public information. after all henrietta's dna is also the dna of her living relatives. whoever has the code also has access to the medical inheritance of her children and grandchildren. protecting that information is only the most recent acknowledgement of a right first recognized long before henrietta lacks walked into that exam room. that is the right to privacy. in 1904, a man sued a life insurance company after he saw a
7:04am
photo of himself used without his permission in one of the company's newspaper ads. when the georgia supreme court sided with him, it became the first court in the nation to accept what was then a completely novel concept, that an individual's privacy, the freedom to be left alone was a right. now, of course, that right only extended as far as the nearest uterus, because it wasn't until 1973 that the most famous legal decision recognizing a right to privacy included women and their body under the umbrella of privacy protections. when the supreme court issued a decision in roe v. wade it didn't just legalize abortion, it confirmed her autonomy over her physical being was part of her inviable right to privacy and promoted by the fourth amendment. it is in that moment when the court recognizes a woman's right to enjoy a liberty granted to all americans that we see
7:05am
privacy become an equal element of citizenship. of course we know that is certainly not where that story ended either. the question of whether your body belongs to you, or is fair game for state intrusion, still remains highly contested territory. take the case of mcfaul versus shipp. the supreme court found in 1978 a person cannot be forced to donate parts of their body even if that would save someone's lives. the court ruled you can take someone's dna without a warrant if you're suspected of a crime. in cases like these there's a blurry line his or her domain over one's own body and his or her concern like public health and public safety. there are cases like this. the video you're seeing now is from police dashboard cameras. so graphic we decided to blur parts of it to show you on television. texas highway police stopping women and compelling them to submit to cavity searches on the
7:06am
side of the road. not just once but at least twice last year. this happened on separate occasions in both parts of texas. both cases remarkably similar. two women pulled over, questioned by a trooper, claiming to smell marijuana in the vehicle. no evidence of drugs found in either case. a female officer arriving on the scene, pulling on a pair of gloves and using the same pair of gloves to perform anal and vaginal searches. what you just saw was an illegal and unconstitutional search one the department of safety complains is not part of policy, whose blatant disregard for privacy rights of women as of last month was very much the official policy of the state of texas thanks to the republican legislature which a few weeks ago passed some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation taking a page from across the country that limited women's reproductive choice.
7:07am
these laws completely bypass the complex constitutional questions and the supreme court has grappled with in its roe decision, a bit of policymaking magic, completely undermining preefsey rights without engaging the court's privacy rights at all. laws that in practice would ban abortion after 20 weeks are dressed up to mask claims of fetal pain, laws passed under guys of standardized building codes to make abortion facilities safer. texas's version of the law, commonly known under the fitting acronym of trap laws, will likely reduce the state's 42 clinics down to five. and despite the efforts of carolina's moral monday protesters, republicans there will restrict 15 of the state's 16 facilities, leaving it with only one. similar legislation in ohio is already forcing the closure of this place, the capital care network of toledo. it is all the remains of what
7:08am
used to be two abortion providers in toledo. ohio's trap laws closed the other one a few months ago. now this one is closing, too. and so 40 years since roe v. wade vested women with full and equal citizenship establishing their right to privacy, this is where we find rights today facing a fate not unlike a woman who walked into a baltimore hospital a few years ago, not quite gone, not completely here but dying slowly by inches. joining me now is one of the people poised to stop the state from going inside women by being herself a woman inside the state, ohio state senator nina turner is live from cleveland. hi, how are you this morning, nina? >> good morning, professor. i'm fine. >> talk to me a little bit. this week i kept thinking it's like we put women's issues on the side and claim they are separate from other policy. it feels to me like they come packaged with voter suppression, stand your ground. is that what you're seeing in
7:09am
ohio? >> we are. our rights are under attack. that's why we need more women in elected office. women make an impact, whether social, political, economic spheres of this country, yet we find ourselves going backwards. this year at the end of the month, it will be 93 years since the suffrage movement at the end of this month. 50 years at the end of this month we're going to be celebrating and recognizing the march on washington for jobs and justice. women are being treated in unjust ways. dr. king said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. that is happening. what is more personal than a woman's body. you name places like ohio. even missouri where legislators are trying to give doctors the authority to deny women access to birth control. this is only happening to women and it is wrong. women should be outraged. but people who care and respect women should be outraged as well. as women today, what other groups will it be tomorrow?
7:10am
>> for me your sort of historical narrative is so important, the idea it hasn't even been 100 years women have had the full citizenship right to vote, not even a full 50 years since passage of a vote rights act for women of color like ourselves. are you surprised, given we are many decades since those accomplishments, about this wholesale attack on women's privacy rights? >> i am. but you know what, elections have consequences. that's exactly what we're dealing with. in 2012 women made up over half the people who went out to vote. we have to repeat that again in 2014. not only in ohio but also the midterm elections in congress. we have to elect people who have a fundamental respect for humanity and have a respect for humanity says that you respect women. it is unacceptable to have women treated as second class citizens. professor, i am urging people to understand that. it doesn't matter what our
7:11am
political affiliations are, this is about justice. this is about humanity. so we have to change that. right here in the state of ohio, we're dealing with folks who want to take away voting rights. they are trying to take away early voting windows, a secretary of suppression who is doing the same thing. we have to continue to fight back. this is about elections and elections have consequences. >> we have a midterm election coming up. you know, we're starting to see sort of the on the ground movement for electing a woman for the u.s. presidency. >> yes. >> there's some discourse around that being hillary clinton. sort of beside who the candidate might be, just the idea it's time to elect a woman as president. i keep thinking these laws aren't coming through the presidential level. how do we make sure we're putting women in state houses in texas, ohio. have you thought about the strategic way to move public attention to these more local races and midterm races? >> yes, i have. it is reminding voters about exactly what is going on. i mean, when you have members of
7:12am
the legislature that go on recess in ohio. when you can't even expand medicaid that would help over 300,000 working class ohioans, men, women, and their families, something is wrong with that. so we have to remind people how far we've come. we cannot allow any group to take us back. i am running a petition drive right now and i want folks to go to @ninaturner. we are a nation of progress. we cannot allow people to came us backwards. what affects one indirectly affects us all. i want women to be outraged. that clip you showed about a cavity show. outrage. that's all i can say on a morning talk show. it's beyond outrage anybody would do to a woman. folks need to be fired. we cannot accept -- we accept a double standard in this country. we have to stop it.
7:13am
women must lift their voices and men who care about women must lift their voices. they are somebody's mother, daughter, aunts. we have to care about humanity and women are part of that humanity. we are forces of nature and we make a difference wherever we are. >> ohio state senator nina turner. thank goodness you were with me on this sunday morning. i have to say we have been beside ourselves with anger in nerdland about the invasions of women's privacy. you always help make me feel as though there's something to be done. we don't just have to be angry about it. thank you for joining me this morning. >> thank you, professor. up next the political issue literally hitting home for millions right now when we come back. [ male announcer ] let's say you pay your guy around 2% to manage your money. that's not much, you think. except it's 2% every year. go to e-trade and find out how much our advice and guidance costs. spoiler alert: it's low.
7:14am
it's guidance on your terms, not ours. e-trade. less for us. more for you. the beach on your tv is much closer than it appears. seize the summer with up to 50% off hotels at travelocity. just go to truecar.com, configure your car, and get connected... to a truecar certified dealer... for guaranteed savings. save time, save money, and never overpay. visit truecar.com
7:15am
7:16am
7:17am
on tuesday president obama went to phoenix, arizona to talk about helping out the people he called responsible homeowners. >> lets face it. we also had reckless buyers who knew they couldn't afford it and still took out loans. all this created a housing bubble, especially in places like arizona. it was devastating when that bubble finally burst. triggered a recession. millions of americans who had done think right were hurt badly by the actions of other people. >> i'm all for responsibility. lets remember the people targeted with subprime mortgages were disproportionately women and people of color. even those who had enough money, had good enough credit to qualify for a subprime mortgage. mr. president, i know you don't want to blame these people,
7:18am
right? shouldn't we blame practices in place at bank of america and wells fargo. joining me to answer that, executive business editor of the "huffington post" and author of "past due." also shawna smith, the president of the national fair housing alliance. lynette cox who is co-founder of ask the money coach.com and author of "zero debt for college grads." i'll be talking to her later. and peter, let me start with you, what is the problem of housing prices for responsible homeowners. >> you hit part of it already. you had this predatory system, wall street hungering for higher risk assets because the world seemed so safe in the housing bubble. investors were pouring into anything with more risk. you had a retail operation in memphis, baltimore, where wells fargo targeted people with lower
7:19am
credit. they persuaded them to sign off on loans, people who needed credit because the wages weren't keeping up with the rising cost. lets pull back. we talked about predatory lending and subprime. even people who are responsible family members. post bubble, san diego or phoenix where houses went up crazy volumes in the boom, if you bought in 2006 at the top of the bubble, you needed to send your kid to a decent school district, you had to sign off on a funny money loan to afford prices driven up by the supposed by now responsible people who bought in 2001, 2002. because the money was so cheap and wall street was creating exotic loans, you had an asset price bubble. you can't get off that ride, unless you're moving to another country. >> or detroit where you can still pick up a house for $10,000. but then you're not in -- as you
7:20am
point out, people make housing choices on schools, economic opportunities, jobs. >> let me ask you this. when we looked at the disparities in subprime loans, 2006, 30% of these loans went to women. much likely men to get subprime mortgages. even high-in come african-american borrowers were likely to get subprime mortgages than white borrowers. was that about being a bad decisionmakers, women aren't good with their money or are we seeing targeted behaviors and those behaviors are still unaddressed? >> additionally these lenders targeted elderly african-american women with high equity in their homes. when they perfected this whole process of scamming people out of their equity, they rolled it out to communities of color, primarily african-american communities, because they didn't have enough people who spoke spanish to hit that community. they hit the spanish community
7:21am
later. but it was a targeted theft of equity in homes. to get that equity they used the refinancing market and exotic loans that were really designed for very high income people, low doc arms, exploding a.r.m.s as we called them. they started from greed and started in the african-american community. philadelphia is one of the best cities to look at to see the impact of stripping wealth and stripping home ownership from the african-american community in this country. >> when i see the president say, hey, some folks are irresponsible, i hear these type of lending practices, my question is, is it time to put aside home ownership, fundamental american dream and start talking about good high-quality rental opportunities. >> we've already start thad to some extent.
7:22am
some people are like this is for the birds. they have seen what family members and friends have gone through, being in foreclosure, underwater, throwing good money after bad. a lot of people are starting to explore the option, is it really worth it for us to pursue home ownership. i still think it is and should be part of the american dream but we have to have an honest conversation about part of the american dream involving debt, whether you're pursuing home ownership, maybe even a college education, that nasty little four-letter word, debt is on the other side of that. i want to address one other point about who is responsible and whether or not fiscally responsible or irresponsible home owners or borrowers are to blame. i really take issue with the fact that people put the blame on individuals mainly because we didn't create the system, we don't make the rules, we don't set the loan rates and terms, the banks do that. they say here is what you qualify for. this the loan. these are our lending standards.
7:23am
should we know and should we have some fiscal responsibility? absolutely, of course. at the end of the day, we get, on average, two or three mortgages in a lifetime. they are doing millions of these, so they are actually the ones i would say -- i would call a little more on the carpet. >> i take that very seriously in part, your word, what i've read from what you've written, take responsibility for your own financial future. when you're saying you're still in this structural problem, part of me says lets opt out of this mortgage problem. the fact is that is where americans build wealth. we tell people if you didn't get in the '30s and '40s with those nice fha loans you're screwed for wealth creation. >> one of the things on this question of responsibility is exciting, in richmond, california. >> i love this. >> it's really exciting. a bunch of people are saying we're not going to be victims to the banks. they are now saying the city said to the banks, we'll buy all the underwater mortgages and
7:24am
want to rewrite them at current market value, which would save people thousands of dollars a year. they are saying if the banks won't do it, we'll use eminent domain. we'll seize those mortgages and resell them. what's so exciting to me on this. it's not dependent on the federal government, not dependent on speeches. it's local people organizing together to say we want to reclaim the wealth. >> it's kind of fun. this whole eminent domain decision is obviously initially to allow local governments to seize these properties for commercial purposes, right? the idea you would seize them and sell them back to the home owners, it's a lovely inversion of what the supreme court was clearly meaning to do. hold on for me. the president had a proposal about changing the way you buy your house. i've got a rapid-fire round on how to think about that proposal when we come back. what you wear to bed is your business.
7:25am
7:26am
7:27am
so, if you're sleeping in your contact lenses, ask about the air optix® contacts so breathable they're approved for up to 30 nights of continuous wear. serious eye problems may occur. ask your doctor and visit airoptix.com for safety information and a free one-month trial. like carpools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪
7:28am
president obama did make policy proposals during his housing speech tuesday. he threw support behind a bipartisan effort to scale down fannie mae and freddie mac, the mortgage giants that guarantee 77% of all new mortgages last year. >> for too long, these companies were allowed to make huge profits buying mortgages knowing that if their bets went bad, taxpayers would be left holding the bag. it was heads we win, tails you lose, and it was wrong. so the good news is right now there's a bipartisan group of senators working to end fannie and freddie as we know them. >> the only thing i dislirk more than irresponsible homeowners than shutting down fannie and
7:29am
freddie. what's it look like without fannie and freddie. >> without really fair underwriting guidelines we wouldn't have loans made from '70s forward to african-american and latino female headed households. it ignores historic and current lending discrimination going on. expecting these banks to make loans in neighborhoods of color and neighborhoods moderate in co -- in come is ridiculous. they haven't done it, won't do it. they are putting overlays on guidelines that create higher fico scores. the private mortgage insurance companies are driving these overlays as well. i've seen minimum loan amounts back in the market. those were illegal back in the '70s and '80s. they are illegal today. we're going to pursue it under the fair housing act. to expect these same banks who have historically discriminated against women of color to make
7:30am
these loans on their own if they get rid of fannie and freddie, even with the new model, it's very sad, ridiculous and can result in discrimination. >> i was going to say even if you put aside the discrimination question or potential for discrimination, in some cases we have to look realistically at what happens when people try to become homeowners. we know categorically across the board for white, black, asian, latino, for anybody, the number one challenge to becoming a homeowner is cash, down payment. that's why government insured loans, like fha, for example, are so attractive nationwide to everybody. you can put 3.5% down and be in a home. i'm not saying that's always the best, should always be the first option. the reality is in the conventional loan market lenders are asking for 10 and 20% down. if we have government insured loans that sort of go away, then i do question and wonder, what is this going to mean for home
7:31am
ownership overall. is it a nation of wealthy or privilege, those that can't affo -- can afford 20% down payment are in onhome. the rest, good luck to you. >> saying fannie and freddie caused the crisis. >> that's oversold argument. fannie and freddie played a role in the crisis. i will say we need to have a much smaller government backstop than we've had. the way in which that government backstop was manipulated by the private sector to shoulder the risk, stick the risks on the taxpayer when push came to shove, we can't defend the status quo. that said, this idea that i think is now oversold that what we really need to do is get the government out of the mortgage industry so private money can take over, we've seen that money. we have private money running every crevice of finance in the run-up to the crisis. we know how that worked out. it worked out taxpayers ponying
7:32am
up $700 billion to rescue us against a potential catastrophe globally. subsequently we've returned to supposedly more normal housing market in which ordinary people are unable to avail themselves of the one thing they were supposed to get out of the bubble, affordable housing. the speculators are the ones buying the homes. >> prices come down but if mortgages aren't available you could buy them. there are things the president could do. hey, focusing too much on what congress can do but what he can do. >> fannie and freddie, not to bash fannie and freddie announced they were going to sue richmond to stop richmond from using eminent domain to fix the housing crisis. i think one of the questions here, what are the administrative things that can be done right away. i also want to touch on the speculation thing. a little there's this myth that the market is beautiful and all houses are worth more when we actually have people like
7:33am
blackstone, you may know the number, whether it's 8 billion, whatever the numbers, massively buying up houses in atlanta. what they are trying to do is two things, get control of the market to jack up rental and housing cost. to note the private sector is limited and all is fine is not only crazy -- >> we've seen it. we're still paying the freight. >> one thing, we've used the expression american dream a few times. i don't want to lose track of the nightmare millions of people are caught in. aspirationally i know where we'd like to go. lets not lose fact of the site 9, 10 million families under water. people getting foreclosed on every day. in atlanta, georgia today people are sitting in front of a veteran's home and police at gunpoint are trying to evict them. this is ongoing. to act like everything is fine at the housing market, it misses reality. >> i want to stay on this topic as we think about the nightmare people are facing, because one
7:34am
of them is about this vanishing promise for the american worker when we come back. we've been bringing people together. today, we'd like people to come together on something that concerns all of us. obesity. and as the nation's leading beverage company, we can play an important role. that includes continually providing more options. giving people easy ways to help make informed choices. and offering portion controlled versions of our most popular drinks. it also means working with our industry to voluntarily change what's offered in schools. but beating obesity will take continued action by all of us, based on one simple common sense fact... all calories count. and if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you'll gain weight. that goes for coca-cola, and everything else with calories. finding a solution will take all of us. but at coca-cola, we know when people come together, good things happen. to learn more, visit coke.com/comingtogether
7:35am
7:36am
a quarter million tweeters is beare tweeting. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why hp built a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this&is gonna be big. hp moonshot.
7:37am
it's time to build a better enterprise. together. so retirement is supposed to be a time when folks can relax and enjoy their golden years. with the projected 88.5 million americans turning 65 or older by the year 2050 and cities like detroit filing for bankruptcy protection and others facing short falls across the country, it's anyone's guess of just how golden retirement will remain. 10,000 each day for the next 20 years. that's the number of people that will reach age 65, the traditional retirement age. 61 is the current average retirement age in the u.s., which is up from 57 two decades ago and likely to keep climbing. 31, that is the percentage of retirees with pensions. $31,077 is the median yearly in come of retirees with pensions.
7:38am
162.7 billion. that's the annual amount state of local pension plans pay out in benefits. 7.5 million is how many retirees receive benefits each year from those state and local pension plans. 6.5 million. that's how american jobs are supported by pension spending. $1 trillion. it's the dollar amount pension spending contributes in total economic output. 11.6 is the at risk factor is reduced for those with a pension plan the age of 65. 42, that's the percentage of private sector workers between the age of 25 and 64 that have any pension coverage in their job. and $99 billion, that is the combined shortfall in 2009 among 61 key u.s. cities in their average funding levels. 34, that's the number of states that failed to make their
7:39am
required pension contributions last year. only nine. those are the states that have set aside less than 60% of the required pension contributions. $3.5 billion, detroit city manager kevyn orr estimates that's how much of the city's pension liability are unfunded making it a fifth of the city's debt. 36%, that's how much of its pension obligations the city of chicago funded last year. $1 trillion and possibly more is how much u.s., state and municipal are underfunded. the pension problem is very real. coming up, why you should be concerned even if you are decades away from retirement. cae and man, you know how that feels. copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. you know, spiriva helps me breathe easier.
7:40am
spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems, glaucoma, trouble urinating, or an enlarged prostate. these may worsen with spiriva. discuss all medicines you take, even eye drops. stop taking spiriva and seek immediate medical help if your breathing suddenly worsens, your throat or tongue swells, you get hives, vision changes or eye pain, or problems passing urine. other side effects include dry mouth and constipation. nothing can reverse copd. spiriva helps me breathe better. does breathing with copd weigh you down? don't wait to ask your doctor about spiriva.
7:41am
because what you dont know can hurt you.urance, what if you didn't know that it's smart to replace
7:42am
washing-machine hoses every five years? what if you didn't know that you might need extra coverage for more expensive items? and what if you didn't know that teen drivers are four times more likely to get into an accident? 'sup the more you know, the better you can plan for what's ahead. talk to farmers and get smarter about your insurance. ♪ we are farmers bum - pa - dum, bum - bum - bum -bum ♪ i don't know what my future will be now. i did have some plans, things i wanted to do before i stash the
7:43am
"bucket list." now i don't know if i'll have that opportunity before i die. >> that man worked for the city for 20 years. like many fellow residents it's in limbo because of the city's bankruptcy filing on july 18th. 65 is no longer the goal of americans looking to the end of the beginning of working. according to a gallop poll, 37% don't expect to retire until after 65, up from 20 years ago, 22%, and 14% in 1995. more than half sur vafd sunk retirement will happen well past the golden age of 65. joining the panel retiree and former accuracy li na gardener. let me open this up, you take exception with the idea pensions are detroit's primary economic driver in terms of the problem behind this bankruptcy. >> first we can get into math in a second. we should hit this point hard
7:44am
that somebody who has been an emt or police officer their entire life, who probably isn't getting social security is now going to lose their in come potential. we can't forget that. the second, banks have been draining detroit for years, bank of america, interest rate swaps. we can go through all the details, exit fee, hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars. i don't hear anybody screaming about lets get the money back from those guys. the $3.5 billion is undocumented. only 90% of the budget is going to fund pensions. it feels to a lot of us like this is creating a narrative to destroy pensions in general. i would add big corporations are eliminating pensions for private sector, now public sector, they
7:45am
have their eye on social security. >> everything. >> their goal is we can work until we die. mcdonald's have have a special over 80 shift. >> this is not a small point. the shift from pensions to 401(k) is a reality i've had as a worker. i have still been praying there is some possibility there will be social security. i certainly know there's no pension. the best i can do is sock away as much as i can in the 401(k). >> obviously we've seen over the last four decades a huge shift from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans. essentially companies are telling u.s. workers, you figure it out. you put in whatever you want it put in. maybe we'll give you a match, maybe we won't. at the end of the term if you stick around and get a gold watch, whatever you have, you have to figure out. you have to invest it. it's on you. it's not for us to carry you into old age. for a financially illiterate public by and large, which is what most of america is. i'm not saying this to put us
7:46am
down. i'm just speaking to the facts here. it's a really hard thing to tell somebody, invest your money on your own, do it well for 10, 20, 30 years and hope for the best when you're 70 plus years old. >> i'm also thinking, peter, when i'm reading those numbers earlier about the number of states, i'm thinking, the state can't manage to save enough for retirement, why should i be able to? >> the state is dealing with an accumulated crisis bill that has rolled downhill since the recession and financial crisis. why is it when wets to the financial reckoning we get real serious about the math when we're talking about retired middle class people. we didn't get serious about math when credit rating agencies saying aaa that delivered us the crisis. we didn't get serious about the math when executives continued to get compensated at ridiculous amounts, bailed out financial institutions and we haven't
7:47am
gotten serious about math in terms of subsidies for fossil fuels, but suddenly now we've really got to look at the math when we're looking at taking a pension away from somebody who never made more than $45,000. >> and worked 29 years for a city in his case. when you talk to seniors, do you hear a sense of anxiety people have not only about this moment but the 15, 20 years they may be facing, good, healthy years. >> i want to say two things first, i'm not a former actress, i'm still -- if they will let me i will still act. and senior is an interest term also, because i've been working on a committee at my union on equal opportunity but a subcommittee on seniors. did you know the if the law for senior is 40, over 40? seniors. when they talked about that -- >> i'm six weeks to senior. i need to fade way faster. >> most of the seniors i've been
7:48am
talking to have said they are watching what's going to happen. the social security thing, of course, is like unlimited incomes. personal it's my social security, pension from the union and a little small pension from a law firm i worked for as a day job. that's my limited fixed in come that i figure out what i'm going to do. and when i decided to become social securitized, not retired, most people are very resourceful. they say one door closes, there's going to be another one -- they will go through the window. they will find a way to meet their -- make their budget and make their ends meet. >> stay with us. i do want to talk a little about the idea that if we fix this, the fact is the folks we're fixing this on are a very particular group who are really going to be affected. that's next.
7:49am
"stubborn love" by the lumineers did you get my email? i did. so what did you think of the house? did you see the school ratings? oh, you're right. hey babe, i got to go. bye daddy! have a good day at school, ok? ...but what about when my parents visit? ok. i just love this one... and it's next to a park. i love it. i love it too. here's our new house... daddy! you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen.
7:50am
7:51am
7:52am
it's one thing to say the public sector pension system needs to be cut back, effects will be felt unevenly, 19% employed by the government, 14% of white and 10% of latino. cutting pensions would hit black retirees especially hard. insult added to injury, significant portion of african-american seniors live in poverty. 19% currently living in poverty compared to 9% of seniors as a whole. many might call something a fix but what could actually be a system of increasing racial equalities plaguing our system. we're talking during the break we can't separate from from 99/1% narrative. >> we talk about fairness, lets talk about policy and self-interest. if you're well off self-supported merchant of high-end furniture in the detroit suburbs today, you don't want people losing their pensions, because that goes down the chain.
7:53am
people who get pensions go out and spend that money and circulate it through the economy. there's some economic growth. eventually more people show up at your store to buy furniture. that's how the economy works. it's counter-stimulus to take this money, a trillion dollars out of the economy now. >> especially when folks are living on that margin, every additional dollar gets spent in rent or food or any of those other consumer items. >> that's right. when you talk about percentage of african-americans or latinos versus whites impacted by this, i think you have to think about the alternatives here, too. if folks don't have a pension, they are likely living on social security. the numbers there are really daunting because we know the typical social security recipient is getting about a $1200 a month stipend. that's -- >> below poverty wage. >> $14,000 a year, who can live off of that. unfortunately for a lot of african-americans who are social security recipients in their old
7:54am
age, this is either their sole or primary source of in come. that's a very frightening thought. >> the one moment i balk a little about giving those numbers, i want to demonstrate the racial disparities it generates but i also know it can create a public perception then that pensions and social security -- they are these welfare programs for other people. >> they are not. they are not. >> maybe a way to think about it is have you to contrast it on what's happening on the other side, which is more wealth. it's concentrated in the hands of fewer people than at any time since 1929. i think the walton family wealth, there's 30 or $40 billion. the real question is who is hoarding the money? who is sucking up the money so it's not into the economy. "the new york times" ran this great article that showed corporate profits are the highest. corporations are hoarding more cash and wages as a percent of the economy are lower. these things are inner
7:55am
connected. what makes me furious, the richest folks leading the charge saying poor people have too much. they can't get enough. >> i want to bring in brenda real quick on this. part of what i want to ask, you're saying i'm still an actor and i would still work. >> whether i need it or not. >> that's exactly one of the challenges. there comes a point, particularly in an economy like this, such a slack labor market, if you do need to go and continue working over 65, even over 70, it might, in fact, be difficult to find employment. >> i talked to several people, and one of them said their grew up in florida. it's about what is the dream, how they want to be, how they want to live. it's very individualized. she lived on a farm and was in her little community thought she was one of the wealthy ones. then she had to go to the city and discovered oh, my. but for her, the joy was like
7:56am
her father and she went horse back riding. he didn't lead the horse. she was actually riding on the horse by herself and she was queen of the world and felt wealthy. so the expectations way, way, way back are different. i think as we get older also people who work all their lives are very resourceful. we will find a way to meet our bills and pay for it so people we're talking about on the $1200, of which i am one, plus the others, find a way to make it work. there are people who are afraid their money will run out. what are they going to do? >> i completely respected my mother as a completely resourceful person and my father, both officially seniors even beyond the definition you gave before but i also feel like they worked their whole lives. i don't want them to have to make it work. i want it to just work for them. thanks so much.
7:57am
coming up, complete this phrase, some of my best friends -- right, yes. when we come back at the top of the hour, a frank look at friendship across the color line. we've got families that have nothing on what we've got. more nerdland at the top of the hour. ♪ (tires screeching) red hot deal days are back. (alarm beeping) stop for no one. what? it's red hot deal days. get $100 off the samsung galaxy note ii with features like pop-up play. lets you use any app while watching video. or use the s pen for hand-written notes. just $199.99. hurry in, sale ends august 11th. getting the best back to school deals.
7:58am
that's powerful. verizon. at truecar.com, we offer our users... guaranteed upfront savings. the result? truecar users save... over $3,000... on average. save time, save money, and never overpay. visit truecar.com that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand what medicare is all about. and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit
7:59am
any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. xxxx . there's a range of plans to choose from, too. and they all travel with you. anywhere in the country. join the millions who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations... and provided by unitedhealthcare insurance company, which has over 30 years of experience behind it. call today. remember, medicare supplement insurance helps cover some of what medicare doesn't pay -- expenses that could really add up. these kinds of plans could save you up to thousands in out-of-pocket costs... you'll be able choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. and you never need referrals. so don't wait. with all the good years ahead, look for the experience and commitment
8:00am
to go the distance with you. call now to request your free decision guide. this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions, and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. [ sneezing ] she may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec®. powerful allergy relief for adults and kids six years and older. zyrtec®. love the air. welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. in his first month as attorney general, eric holder famously declared that america is a nation of cowards on matter of race because we avoid candid discussions about racial issues. holder suggested this cowardice was rooted in our lack of sustained meaningful friendships
8:01am
across the racial divide. >> as a nation we've done a pretty good job in melding the races in the workplace. we work with one another, we lunch together. and when the event is at the workplace during work hours, such as this, or shortly thereafter we socialize with each other fairly well, irrespective of race. even this interaction operates within certain limitations. outside the workplace, the situation is more bleak in that there is no significant interaction between us. >> this week a new reuters poll underlined attorney holder's remarks revealing a stark racial divide in our friendships. the poll shows about 40% of white americans and about 25% of nonwhite americans are surrounded exclusively by friends of their own race. years after they ordered school unequal and ordered plaque and white kids to share the same classroom, 50 years after
8:02am
passage of the fair housing act, supposed to integrate our neighborhood, we still aren't making friends. from popular culture that shows no shame in presenting all white buddy cohorts who rarely bump into a black person even in new york city to our racially homogeneous facebook pages, we may or may not be a nation of cowards but we're certainly a country of strangers. here to discuss this poll and figure what we can do are some of our friends, hilarious host september 4th nightly on fxs. next to him tanner colby, i swear it's the truth, "some of my best friends are black. . the strange story of integration. lizz winstead author of a book of isays, lizz free or die. and author of "man up" cracking the code of modern manhood. was anyone surprised at the poll
8:03am
results. >> i was surprised they were so good. >> really? you think some white folks are lying? >> i think it's a very imprecise study in that it's white and nonwhite. the social divide is epic. i've had hispanic middle eastern friends my whole life and i never wrote a book about it. the divide between blacks and white is a completely different subject. to give white people an out of saying how many nonwhite friends do you have gives an out. >> i love the premise, 2008 obama campaign, not only did you drink the obama kool-aid but the crystals from the kool-aid. then you write in the book, and i realized, i had never been to a black person's house. anyone who has been to the white house has been to a black person's house. >> the black person renting. >> not renting, public housing. >> eight year lease on that house.
8:04am
>> i wonder why do we care? what is it about interracial friendships is valuable, what difference does it have, particularly between white folks and black folks? >> that's such a giant question. for me i grew up in minnesota where it was like the swedes and norwegians was the biggest racial divide. it was crazy. i lived in a neighborhood that was almost totally white. i was a young girl who was completely oppressed by what i looked at as my future. i sought out people who had different lives and felt like outsiders. it wasn't really until college, i want to talk to you because, a, you look different than me. b, i know you haven't been on the train everybody thinks you've been. when you look at feminism, a classic example of white feminism and women of color and trans people. that divide hasn't been approached. in order to become a movement that changes things you sometimes have to shut up and listen to other people, what
8:05am
their experiences are. all those things need to be talked about and honored so you can move forward. >> that's a larger political narrative. in other words, it's not just we should have diverse friends in order to feel good but we need diverse friendships because it makes a difference to our political movement. >> it's about you on some levels but it's really -- if it's only about you -- like i say there's me-ism in the world, you want too about people and the world you live in. >> think what a limited life we have if the only people we know look like us, think like us, have the same outlook. for me you live a more full life when you have people with different ideas, different experiences. number two, when it comes to love, for me, my wife is a black woman, you know. it's so hard to find love in this city, this world. how bad is it if the only people we actually think we can have a depth of a relationship is is
8:06am
somebody of our own race. if you can't see outside of that, maybe we'll miss love. >> interesting you bring up love and romance. there's a couple of interracial relationships at this table. >> yes. yes. >> when we look at the numbers, interracial marriages have been sort of ticking up at the same time we have nearly half of white folks saying i don't have friends of the other race. i wonder, is it almost easier -- i don't mean that it's easy to be in an interracial marriage or romance but somehow marriage or romance has a set of rules about it -- like it's harder to form the intimate peer relationships that are friendships. >> i think the study hits me in the wrong place. i don't need white people to be my friends. i do need them to be friendly. i would friendly like, hey, there's a white guy following me down the street. it's going to be fine. folks are like, this is going to be bad. i think interracial relationships do help you form that bond.
8:07am
i feel like anything that separates you from the norm, which is white, straight myth in america is harder. i feel like me and my wife have regular relationship stuff. she's white. and there's also the race stuff that comes in. >> tanner, i think this is an interesting point. the idea, i don't need you to be my friend, just don't shoot. >> i don't want to go to george zimmerman's house and say, hey, man, can we be friends. >> don't be friends. tanner when ilgt und got under cover of your book, "some of my best friends are black." it's actually about integration in schools that failed, attempted integration in neighborhoods that often failed. i wonder about this idea it actually is sufficient to just have the policies in place without the intimacy of friendship. >> the policies in place. we don't even have the right
8:08am
policies. assuming you have the right policies in place, the constructive act of integrating, desegregation is the removal of barriers. integration is a constructive act. that requires people to make voluntary choices about who they associate with and what they want to do. it does have huge socioeconomic impacts. what happened in the book, i looked at the advertising industry. if you've seen madmen, that's why i didn't know black people. i worked at nine ad agencies and the number of black people i worked with i could count on one hand. i went to look at racism in advertising, the minute i decided to write the book they threatened a class action lawsuit for racial discrimination. i thought, well, that's great. what good fodder for the story. the deeper you got into it, it was very hard to put their hands on tangible acts of discrimination because there's
8:09am
no qualification to work in advertisi advertising. you look at someone's portfolio and say, i think you're clever. what they were trying to prove is that it was an old boy's network, they defined it as second generation discrimination, social groups tend to exclude nondominant groups. >> is that also america? >> this goes to your point about politics. politically in a field where there's no qualifications, then our friendship networks are part of what become our employment networks. if they are all white they generate this kind of equality. >> what i would just take one step further is people's stories are what push policy. why do you think immediately they tamp down the dreamer stories or 9/11 widow stories or women who have had to go through abortion stories, they want their own narrative. when they tell stories you open up and listen and hear part of yourselves. when you invite people in your
8:10am
life and hear their stories and shut up and listen, all of a sudden you are connecting with something you may never have before. >> it was an interesting point. as we were sitting around developing this, trying to look for the story, we were saying, who is the most famous interracial friendship, who is the most famous interracial friendship. we came up with bert and ernie. the very idea of interracial friendship did full like a null set, like a missing story line because it isn't part of what we talk about the richness -- i like to camp with my white friends. this idea that those friendships are meaningful. hold on for a second. there is one very funny note. disturbing, i can't remember which. it is funny and disturbing. we're going to watch it when we come back about a interracial friendship. you don't want to see this but you totally do, so stay. okay, a? b? b. a?
8:11am
that's a great choice. let me show you some faucets to go along with that. with the latest styles and guaranteed low prices, you can turn the bath you have into the bath you want. good choice. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, this abbey vanity combo is a special buy. just $299. [ crashing ] [ male announcer ] when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast with tums. trusted heartburn relief that goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum, tum tum tum tums! nothing works faster. i'm bethand i'm michelle. and we own the paper cottage. it's a stationery and gifts store. anything we purchase for the paper cottage goes on our ink card. so you can manage your business expenses and access them online instantly with the game changing app from ink. we didn't get into business to spend time managing receipts, that's why we have ink. we like being in business because we like being creative, we like interacting with people.
8:12am
so you have time to focus on the things you love. ink from chase. so you can. these are sandra's "homemade" yummy, scrumptious bars. hmm? i just wanted you to eat more fiber. chewy, oatie, gooeyness... and fraudulence. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. [ male announcer ] fiber one. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. sleep traiends sunday! interest-free for 3 event it's your last chance to get 3 years interest-free financing
8:13am
on beautyrest black, stearns & foster, serta icomfort, even tempur-pedic. plus, get free delivery and sleep train's 100-day low price guarantee. but hurry, sleep train's interest-free for 3 event ends sunday! superior service, best selection, lowest price, guaranteed! ♪ sleep train ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪
8:14am
okay. we've been discussing the reuters poll, 40% of white americans don't have a friend of another race. if you do have one, i'm going to show you how not to introduce him or her. nerdland cue disgraced tv host hollis johnson, her bodyguard and friend as she describes him in new york last fall. >> i have a young man in my life. his name is hollis johnson. he's black as that board. stand up, hollis. >> is he here? >> we can't see you standing against that dark board. i tell people this is my son by
8:15am
another father. i mean, i love this young man. >> that was at a "new york times" forum in new york. don't introduce your black friend like that. >> she's always been real helpful. >> she must be a great cook to get away with that. it must be really good food. >> that shows you how much americans love fried butter. there was a study just yesterday, i was on "the ed show" talking about the people of georgia. paula deen ranked higher than martin luther king by 20% of people they admire or -- >> there's a part of me that says i don't want to be hard on paula deen, almost because it's too easy. it's a reminder in that moment given hollis, who she described as her friend, is her bodyguard reminds us part of what friendship requires you're operating as peers. you write about this in the book, part of the difficulty around the particular interracial divides is you're often not peers, you are work friends.
8:16am
just the idea of those peer relationships. >> what happened, especially when they tried to integrate a neighborhood in kansas city, you had this college neighborhood where it was affecting the whole racial landscape of the city. college liberals, professors tried to put together an integrated neighborhood. we're going to fight to save everybody. no black people would join the organization. all the black people were mostly working class people. they worked two and three jobs. all the middle class white people were standing around going where are the white people. the black people are like, we're at work. there's a power divide, white people stole all money 400 years. >> if someone is a bodyguard for you and you're a multimillionaire, that's not an organic friendship. i feel like so much when we taub about race, a beautiful poignant post after the george zimmerman murder talking about his whole life trying to manage and hold
8:17am
onto his self-dignity and self-worth after spending a lifetime feeling like he had to make white people comfortable, accommodate them, how they might respond to him because he's 6'2", 300 pound black man with a big afro. >> would you like to reflect on this experience? >> i feel like real friendships are about both people being on equal footing and really learning in a complicated way about who each other is. the only way you do that, you can't always have one person accommodating the other to make them comfortable. >> white people need to know if you are paying a black person to be around you, that doesn't qualify. the minute she stops paying him, is when they aren't around. >> an adorable, interracial group. if we were going to sort of give rules for interracial friendship, what would they be? how do you develop these kinds of friendships as you were talking about the kind of making yourself available, purposefully
8:18am
doing it. i was shocked millennials held up as not having a problem with this were having difficulty articulating what that kind of process of interracial friendship is like. >> it's interesting. for me it's what are you driven to? to me it was passion and drive. the things i was interested in and what i would go to when i got more political, it was more diverse. when i started feminism, it was more diverse. so through what i loved, there was people there who i contacted with on a bunch of different levels and they become my friends because we had things in common. can i say one thing, why does paula deen have a bodyguard? i have to ask that. why does she have one? people who eat that much fried food are not going to chase you. they can't move. >> an angry vegan. >> paula deen points out a flaw in the original survey. if you let people identify their
8:19am
friends they are generous towards themselves. >> we've got to get the nsa involved in telling people. they know. they know. >> it's not how many black friends you have, it's how many black friends consider you a friend. >> you ain't kidding, brother. >> that's right. >> i remember in the text you said when you ask folks who are your black friends, you went and turned all the white people thought the same four people sort of were their friends. >> i have a lot of white people i'm their only black friend. >> it's not an intimate friendship. >> so your hair, how does that work again. we're not friends. >> i know one of my producer tracy is applauding to the question, if you ask the hair question, you're not. tracy, i just got confirmation she's applauding to that. >> i've got one. >> let me ask, if not your friend, if you don't get to ask the tough questions, that's part of what interracial friendship
8:20am
might be able to be about. liz z, what is it with white people and catching thing, black folks and the hair thing. isn't that what the long-term building up the relationship is about. >> shouldn't that be asked when you're 12? i feel like those inquisitive questions are like, what's it like when you get your period? what's your hair like? those are questions you ask when you're young. >> if you lived where i lived when you were 12, there was no one to ask those questions. >> those questions can be asked but i feel like you have to be friends first. i'm at a party, i just met you and you want to know about my hair. we're not friends yet. that's why i carry a punch card. we're friends now. >> you and i had the conversation about when do you go from acquaintance to friends. you have a point you're
8:21am
acquaintance, you have affection, at what point are they a friend. >> i had a public fight about this. you can ask me about my hair at a certain level of intimacy but not as the black shield. if you're having a conversation about race and you say melissa is my friend. therefore since i've got a black friend, i can now say these things, even if we were friends, we're not anymore. that idea that have you to stand on your own. you don't get to use me as a shield. >> i'm your swirl shield? >> yeah. >> i think it's problematic in general, though, this idea whether you have black friends a black spouse or a black parent that adopted you and you're white, flip it up to what you're talking about later, that in some way gives you more sbilgsment to say certain things or talk a certain way. my whole life i'm miami beach who lives on a fault line, my mom is white, my father is
8:22am
columbian, i grew up in international schools, around very diverse racial groups -- groups of racial demographics but that doesn't change the responsibility i have in the way i move through the world, the things i say. a lot of times people use that as credibility, an excuse to do things that nobody has any right to do regardless of who you are, where you come from. >> you still don't get to use the n word even if i'm you're friend, particularly not if you're doing it in a public space where it creates a shield. >> i want to ask one question about a policy piece. we're trying to think through the intimacy and friendship. is there one set of policies you see as being most likely to generate the opportunities for friendship? >> housing. that's it. we spend all this time, you know, busing kids all over the map. if you bus a kid into the neighborhood and send them home at 3:30 he's not going to become a part of that community. he's not going to feel part of that community.
8:23am
hikely he'll stay in the black cafeteria table and not get involved in student activities. we had busing. kids were not of the school. whereas now with 20 years later with a lot of work on red lining and real estate integration, the black people who live at my high school live in the community and the kids participate in activities, they are there after school. if you look all across the country like in kansas city where i looked, the parents in the neighborhood didn't get along, kids don't know different. parents declared a truce to co-exist and kids grow up not knowing any different. you integrate a neighborhood, you integrate a school. integrate a college without baggage, move into a career field and you're already across the color line. >> yet as you point out holding those integrated communities in some kinds of states is extremely difficult because there's active attempts to block bus those neighborhoods. i agree with you, i love the line, the best thing we could ever come up with is busing.
8:24am
how do we put a man on the moon but can't figure out a way to integrate any better than with a school bus. >> i feel like most of america needs to be bused to the bay area. you need to be in a place where you're always walking into different types of people whether you're friends with them or not. you settle down. >> the whole fallacy of busing, worse than hurting cats but hurting white people, only species with greater mentality than cat. >> thank you so much. up next, the disgraced politician who has completed intensive therapy after just one week. wow, seriously? peace of mind is important when you're running a successful business. so we provide it services you can rely on. with centurylink as your trusted it partner, you'll experience reliable uptime for the network and services you depend on. multi-layered security solutions keep your information safe, and secure.
8:25am
and responsive dedicated support meets your needs, and eases your mind. centurylink. your link to what's next.
8:26am
8:27am
she was a picky eater. well now i'm her dietitian... ...and last year, she wasn't eating so well. so i recommended boost complete nutritional drink to help her get the nutrition she was missing. and now she drinks it every day. well, it tastes great! [ male announcer ] boost drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones, and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. and now boost comes in two delicious, new bars. look for them next to boost drinks. [ dietitian ] now, nothing keeps mom from doing what she loves... ...being my mom. it's been a few weeks since we last did our wow seriously
8:28am
segment. first of all we had more news on san diego's mayor the philandering bob filner. he's accused of 14 women and counting. as accusations mounted he refused to step down, instead checked in for entensive behavioral therapy twor two weeks. apparently it's a good center, he's leaving a week early. you've been accused of kissing, grouping, and grossing out your female colleague and you're cured in a week? coincidentally he stayed in long enough to miss his scheduled deposition in a harassment case filed by his former spokeswoman. since filner has been away center barbara boxer has called for his resignation saying allegations he preyed on veterans, survivors of sexual assault, shook her to her core.
8:29am
now the entire san diego city council is unanimous calling for filner to step away from the office. we hope every woman on earth. in the meantime, filner, they changed the locks on your office, so you might not even have a choice. on the other side of the country we have united states representative republican from florida. the congressman told a crowd this month the new tax on tanning beds under the affordable care act is racist. oh, that's right, seriously. he said he knew this because he asked an indian doctor with very dark skin if he'd ever been to a tanning booth and he hadn't. obviously racist against john boehner maybe. to be fair, he was just trying to make a point about the left. >> so therefore it's a racist tax and i thought i might need to get to a suntanning booth so i can come out and say i've been disenfranchised because of the
8:30am
color of my skin. as crazy as that sounds, that's what the left does right. by god, if it works for them, it will work for us. >> on a happy note, this is my favorite thing on the internet. it's a friend in china, dressing up babies like watermelons. look at these adorable juicy watermelon babies. why would someone do this? because they can. coming up, parenting across the color line. when your children are black but you're not. right now, 7 years of music is being streamed.
8:31am
a quarter million tweeters are tweeting. and 900 million dollars are changing hands online. that's why hp built a new kind of server. one that's 80% smaller. uses 89% less energy. and costs 77% less. it's called hp moonshot. and it's giving the internet the room it needs to grow. this&is gonna be big. hp moonshot. it's time to build a better enterprise. together.
8:32am
8:33am
a few weeks ago when the george zimmerman verdict was announced, we talked on the show about the difficult conversation that i and african-american parents across the country were having with our children as they struggled to make sense of the verdict. among reactions that most resonated with me was the response of my own mother who reminded me of something i had forgotten. it wasn't only african-american
8:34am
parents who were trying to figure out how to have that talk, it was also white parents who were raising black and mixed race children. she told me, it's not just parents, it's the parents of black children. joining me now are a group of people who understand that firsthand, what it means to confront those conversations. rachel is the mother of three adopted african-american children, the author of "come rain or come shine" a white parent's guide to adopting black children. her research investigates white mothers in new zealand and united states. rachel, ceo adopted by a white couple in albuquerque new mexico when she was a newborn. back with me was shawna smith. yes, she was here as a housing expert but also the mother of two mixed race children who identify primarily as african-american. so i've been wanting to have this conversation since my mom
8:35am
reminded me of that. hi, mom, looking beautiful back there. tracy, what are the key challenges from research. what are the big challenges white moms, in particular, face with trying to raise african-american children. >> one of the challenges is how to talk about race. white women oftentimes are not raised to think about themselves as racial beings so they don't acquire racial literacy skills, the skills that help them to know how to talk about race. oftentimes the dialogue is not taking place. it means that children who are going to encounter instances of racism or have questions about race or racial identity navigate that alone. that's difficult for children. childhood requires the help of adults who can help you go that way. parents don't know how to do that because they haven't interrogated race. it's hard on the children in particular. >> i want to link what you're saying to what one of my other guests said about the idea we
8:36am
need neighborhoods and communities integrated. i'm thinking part of what makes that difficult, if you are the white parent of a black or mixed race child, you may also be living in a neighborhood that is homogeneous, only have schools available to you that are pretty homogeneous. >> for me personally, i was able to be raised in an integrated neighborhood but it was in the '50s. so the low in come white people in my neighborhood were mixed in with college educated african-american families because they weren't allowed to buy a house anywhere else. my exposure came to be with educated african-american families and their kids and we all grew up together, went to grade school and high school together. so for me the racial education came from growing up and living together. so the fair housing movement and congress, when they passed it, one of the goals is to promote residential integration. coming from that background, i recognize how we learn about
8:37am
each other. you either like me or don't like me because i'm a jerk, not because of my race. >> i also know you and i have talked before about this idea, being self-conscious about a question of being a white parent who is making a choice to raise black children. in your writing you are very clear about this, you cannot simply adopt african-american children and say love is enough, although love is incredibly important, but there are other skills necessarily. >> we hired a mentor for our children. i purposefully went to the college i work at, i need a christian african-american black female. we interviewed them. some people think that was targeting racially. yes, it is. i did it with pride. it means stepping aside as a white woman and realizing i can't provide everything for my plaque children but i can do something about it.
8:38am
>> you're in an age where most adoptions are open, which have a whole set of adoption. i wonder with trans racial adoption provides opportunities as well for that -- i guess that's what i'm asking here, does that assist in some ways the fact adoptions are open. >> i think not just with race but adoption in general. kids have questions about medical history. having an open adoption can be tremendously beneficial. i have three children and each have an open adoption with biological families. the funny thing is our family tree keeps growing, not so much a tree but an orchard. when they see our family it's not what they expect but it's great. if you're white you're not enough necessarily for your children but there are things you can do. it's not like you throw your hands up and say there's nothing i can do. >> just now we were about to come on air, we were looking at this picture from my mom and i in 1974 and said, she did a good
8:39am
job with your hair. that's not a small point. it's not the big picture but sometimes as small as the fundamental questions of knowing how to deal with and manage textured african-american hair. >> that's absolutely correct. my hair, bless my parents' heart was an atrocity. my afro was so uneven kids would hide their pencils in it. later alice walker did a piece, my hair was my oppressor. years later my hair became an issue i had to deal with for years. to this day i still can't do my hair. i just thank you as a trans racial adoptee for having me on today. this is a conversation that has to be had. we are clearly not in a post racial america, we're in a post trayvon martin america. i'm looking through a different lenses. granted i was adopted by a white couple. i have a 16-year-old teenager.
8:40am
i worked with al sharpton on national action network from diallo to graham. race is live. as president obama said eloquently on friday, no human problem is 100% solvable. the voting rights act, civil rights act granted were great pieces of legislation but discrimination still exists. >> i feel glad you brought up the president. we spend a lot of time on how his discursive moment of saying trayvon could have been me, i could have been trayvon. that's right. this is ann dunham's child. on the one hand identifying fully and completely with trayvon martin. that's his mama. his mother is a white woman. the challenge there of remembering he is the child of a white woman who nonetheless has this very strong african-american identity was the other piece i thought wasn't as much a part of our conversation.
8:41am
>> i found in research there were more moms not talking about race exclusively. so i'm really happy to be here with women, white women, who see it as important. i encountered women who didn't see it as important. they looked at me kind of with confusion regarding my questions about race. i think there are some moms who feel like we love our kids to pieces and that's enough. love is essential but it is not enough. so to find women who realize it's important to have these ethnic communities that help to give kids racial literacy kids so they can navigate is critical. we're focusing on citizenship and coming from a good family and knowing you're just as good as everybody else. this raceless talk doesn't help kids to navigate the terrain of race, which is very uneven and deadly at times. >> when we come back, more on this black babies and the new york city mayor's race. discover card.
8:42am
i asked my husband to pay our bill, and he forgot. you have the it card and it's your first time missing a payment, so there's no late fee. really? yep! so is your husband off the hook? no. he went out for milk last week and came back with a puppy. hold it. hold it. hold it. at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card with late payment forgiveness.
8:43am
8:44am
lookin' good, flo! feelin' good! feelin' real good! [ engine revs ] boat protection people love. now, that's progressive. call or click today.
8:45am
a mayor forever, no matter where they live, whatever they look like. i'd say that even if he wasn't my dad. >> i kind of love that that was the first campaign tv act for new york candidate for mayor. supporting him in that ad is his son, who, if you notice, also happens to be african-american. we pulled this in part because for him to first represent himself through his black son is a political statement as well as one quite personal. i love it because the kid has this impressive afro. we were talking about hair in the break so i would love you to tell your hair story about your girls. >> i have two african-american girls and it takes a phenomenal amount of time to do their hair
8:46am
as i discovered. i do their hair. it's amazing how many white women will come up and touch their hair, fondle their hair. the thing i've had to teach my 4.5-year-old, it's not okay to touch me, i'm not a pet or puppy. it drives me bonkers, not only the time and energy i put into the hair but it's not okay to teach the child. >> to teach your african-american child don't touch my hair is racial literacy. i'm wondering what are key vocabularies you've engaged in. your children are adults but in your childhood. >> a lot was being with my husband's family and being around the whole affirm culture and then we go to a predominantly black church so they have learned that. we talked about race and my husband referred to himself about black.
8:47am
my husband had an issue in grade school about the crayons, black and brown. >> he thought brown crayons were black. >> we talked about treatment and how people looked at you. my son looked at as were african-american, middle eastern, europe. some white guys in europe started beating him up because they thought he was a jew, started saying all these racial slurs. i said, why didn't you tell him you were black? because they would have killed my. >> mom, that's not going to make it better. >> i do civil rights work, so they have always been involved in that. my daughter with the hair she was on the subway in d.c. and white girls said who did your lips. my daughter looked at them and said what?
8:48am
who did your lips. she said, nobody. these are my lips. we talk about how white people in suburbs who have not been exposed to color ask those questions because they have had no interaction with people different from themselves, and to be patient but correct them. >> interesting part of the solution or part of the process for vocabulary was being with your husband's family and extended african-american community. i wonder if that's part of the distinction between parenting black children who are adoptees versus children in the context of interracial relationship. my mom sent me a text about my dad who is african-american. your dad used to freak my out so much about whether you were eating watermelon in public, so turned it into melon balls. he had angst in the south, stereotyping. consistent relationship and communication with an
8:49am
african-american person who was part of that process. i'm wondering if there's a difficulty when you're dealing with adoption where people are often acting out of love and compassion but not necessarily out of knowledge. >> that's right. my parents clearly acted out of love and compassion. in fact, they raised us to be color-blind. they thought that was a reality that we could live by. it wasn't until i was in my 20s and i met folks of color that i really went through a really serious identity crisis. i moved to africa. >> came back and worked for reverend sharpton. >> so but i think the most important thing is what we're doing at this table. we're discussing our commonalities and differences. that is the key. you, rachel, have really embraced black culture and it's phenomenal and i admire you for that. my father to this day, 79 years
8:50am
old, he had it's my press releases. even though there's a discomfort talking about race in my childhood, he's been phenomenal. >> african-americans have to talk about race. that's what i discovered as a white mom. a black mom. white kids with kids of color, all white families in particular try not to talk about it. i noticed in a preschool, a little white girl said to me, are those two girls sisters. they are not sisters. they just happen to be the same race. but her mother hushed her. we're not going to talk about black. we're not going to talk about that. >> it's unfortunate because we need to talk about it. >> i'm fortunate that you guys came to the table to talk about this. rachel, tracy robinson wood who also allowed me to clarify, is from northeastern, thanks so much to all of you. and when we come back. oprah's real ah-ha moment. it starts with little things. tiny changes in the brain.
8:51am
little things anyone can do. it steals your memories. your independence. ensures support, a breakthrough. and sooner than you'd like. sooner than you'd think. you die from alzheimer's disease. we cure alzheimer's disease. every little click, call or donation adds up to something big. [ male announcer ] it's a golden opportunity to discover a hybrid from the luxury car company that understands that one type of hybrid isn't right for everyone. come to the lexus golden opportunity sales event and choose from one of five lexus hybrids that's right for you, including the lexus es and ct hybrids. ♪
8:52am
this is the pursuit of perfection. (tires screeching) red hot deal days are back. (alarm beeping) stop for no one. what? it's red hot deal days. get $100 off the samsung galaxy note ii with features like pop-up play. lets you use any app while watching video. or use the s pen for hand-written notes. just $199.99. hurry in, sale ends august 11th. getting the best back to school deals. that's powerful. verizon.
8:53am
8:54am
serious outrage ensued this week when media mogul oprah winfrey revealed that she was racially profiled in switzerland for a $38,000 handbag. >> i go into a store, which shall remain unnamed. i go to the woman, may i see that bag right above your head, and she says to me, no. it's too expensive. >> oh, my denied the right to buy a $38,000 handbag. the outrage. oprah was pretty relaxed about the whole thing and certainly didn't demand a boycott on switzerland on her behalf but i
8:55am
admit this particular slight may be identified as 1 percenter problems. it's still a demeaning experience no matter what your tax bracket and having effective strategies to counter these slits can be the best way to feel empowered. so the next time miss winfrey experiences the sting of discrimination, she ought to march right out of that shop and take her money elsewhere. in fact, we have developed a nerdland guide that oprah can buy for $38,000. she can pick up this 1700 square foot family home in buffalo, new york. also, $38,000 would just about cover a year of tuition for our intern sarah at quinnipiac university. or she could score a 2014 jeep grand cherokee complete with the navi package. you get a car. you get a car.
8:56am
$38,000 would buy 30 months of food for a family of four. and it would provide a stunning 11 years of snap benefits for an average family. look at what you can get for the bargain price of 35,000. a tron cycle. fight back m spend that money on something better than a purse. the struggle continues. that's our show for you today. thanks for watching. there will be nor nerdland. now it's time for a preview of "weekends with alex witt." >> thank you for that sendoff. it's over, a search for 16-year-old hannah anderson. a popular children's clothing store suggests girls
8:57am
can't do math and want diamonds. and pick off where we just left off, victims of racism. that's what oprah winfrey says kept a bag out of her hands. chris witherspoon is going to join me. you'll hear what she told him. don't go anywhere. we'll be right back. here we go cinnamon toast crunch. yay! a perfect school day breakfast. i know if you find a lower advertised price they'll match it at the register. that's amazing. look at that price. i like that. they need those for school. we're always working to lower costs so you get more savings. now your kids have everything they need. all in one place. more school for your money. guaranteed. ready? wow! that's the walmart low price guarantee backed by ad match. save time and money getting your kids ready for school, bring in ads from your local stores and see for yourself.
8:58am
8:59am
the beach on your tv is much closer than it appears. seize the summer with up to 50% off hotels at travelocity.
9:00am
still running in the morning? yeah. getting your vegetables every day? when i can. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. two full servings of vegetables for only 50 delicious calories. happened in the idaho wilderness after police caught up with an apparent kidnapper and teenager. into terror fears over? the embassy is reopened at least one of them a threat of an attack here is still high. and giving republicans an ear-ful during the august recess. but there is a twist this time. and the friendliest cities in america. you may think you live there already. we'll tell you the truth from a